Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our Happy, Fat Little Baby

After going two and a half weeks without a doctor’s appointment, Jason, Sam and I became human again! We decided that it was time for Sam to get out and experience the a relatively germ-free way, of course. Sam has attended Fourth of July and birthday parties. He’s been grocery shopping, Babies R’Us shopping, and out to dinner. He’s been to the pool, but not in the pool, and I am slightly embarrassed to share with you that Sam’s first movie was Bad Teacher. Luckily, he slept through most of it, as did much of the audience.

Our leash to Children’s Hospital is a little longer now that Sam has undergone the Glenn (his second surgery); instead of going to a 5-hour high risk clinic every week, we now go to a normal, 2-3 hour outpatient appointment every two weeks. And to be honest, much of those 2-3 hours is spent socializing with the doctors, nurses, clinical assistants, and custodial workers that formed our hospital family for the eleven weeks that we lived there. Our most recent appointment was on Monday, and when we went up to visit the Cardiac Progressive Unit, Sam was immediately surrounded by such a large flock of hospital workers that I wondered who was taking care of the actual patients on that floor.

According to our pediatric cardiologist, Sam has now earned a degree of “fame” at Children’s Hospital, so he has several sets of eyes examining each of his echoes. And while nobody really wants his or her child to be "famous" for uniquely challenging illnesses at a children's hospital, I’m happy to report that all eyes were pretty satisfied with his echoes this time around. As of Monday, there is nothing new or “remarkable” or “impressive” to report, which is a good thing in doctor lingo. All looks the same as or better than it did two weeks ago! Most notably, Sam’s oxygen levels are rising, which means that we can start the process of weaning his oxygen a little.

Actually, the doctor’s only complaint is that Sam is slightly overweight! I am apparently overfeeding him a little. He’s fine right now, but if he continues on this growth curve, he could be on the track towards obesity—one medical issue that Sam certainly doesn’t need added to the mix. When we took Sam upstairs to say hi to his girlfriends, the nurses laughed at the notion of Sam being chubby. They said that it was a “problem” they welcomed, and one that is pretty rare for cardiac babies. I have since lovingly nicknamed him “Chunky Monkey,” “Chubby Bubby,” and “Chubs.”

Despite his multiple surgeries, Sam is luckily still hitting his development milestones. He is starting to reach for things, grasp them, and bring them to his mouth. Unfortunately, his favorite item to do this with is his nasal cannula; at least 50 times today, I looked over to find Sam looking like a happy baby vampire with the two prongs of his nasal cannula tucked under his upper lip.

His neck strength continues to build, as does his ability to bear weight through his arms and legs, and he’s able to eat more and more by mouth. Perhaps, a bit too much…

Still, he's a happy little guy.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

So evidently, we will only be posting on national holidays update: Labor Day!

Ok, just kidding, but it does kind of feel that way, doesn't it? It's just that, being home, our free time (what little there is) is now being directed to doing things other than the blog. You know, like going out to dinner occasionally, getting back involved in my golf league (btw this is Jason), exercising, catching up on TV shows. No joke, we literally watched last season's Survivor finale three days ago. I guess when we have the chance to be "real" human beings instead of being locked up in the hospital, we take it.

In the meantime, here's a micro-update and a few pictures of the little guy. As of Sam's last clinic appointment, he looked, in the words of our cardiologist, "great!" No return of infection! He's growing well, and continuing to strengthen his body and his ability to feed. Not to say he's perfect, but he does seem to be happy at home and remains a very smiley little guy. Here are a few photos of our summer.

Here's Sam with Grandpa Kakos and Mugga. Mugga painted some fun things in Sam's nursery; I'll try to post pictures of the nursery soon.

More recently, my Dad came into town. Sad that he couldn't hold Sam the first time he came to visit (just before and after the very first surgery), Grandpa Leclaire swooped him up within seconds of arriving on a summer visit.

And my step-mom, Miss Marge, got to hang out with him too.

Wishing all of you a happy and healthy 4th. We're going to a BBQ with some friends but will make sure to keep our oxygenated son away from fireworks!